Vol. 13 No. 44 - August 28, 2013
Bowlers help the cause
HOLMES BEACH – The staff was ready, classrooms were squeaky clean and the quiet calm that prevailed in Anna Maria Elementary School for the past two months was broken Monday morning as the kids returned to school.
Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer joined officer Brian Copeman, the school’s resource officer, in front of the school. He had additional signage at the school crossing and extra officers were on duty. More...
Mayors pursue paid parking on Island
ANNA MARIA – Island elected officials discussed what appears to be inevitable – paid parking at Manatee Public Beach and selected areas in Anna Maria, including Bayfront Park
At last week’s meeting of the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected officials, Dan Honyotski, of PSx told officials that his company offers both on and off street parking solutions. More...
City to attempt rental ban
ANNA MARIA – Despite language in the code that could be perceived as vague, the city commission wants to see if it can ban rentals from the residential districts.
The commissioners voted to find an example of a rental home in the R-1 and R-2 districts and take the owner to court to make a test case. Their hope is the court will issue a declaratory judgment as to whether rentals are banned in those neighborhoods. More...
Island cities want more TDC money
ANNA MARIA –They want a greater share of the money that the county collects from the tourism tax said the three Island mayors at last week’s meeting of Island elected officials.
The tourism tax is five cents per dollar for accommodations renting for six months or less. The Tourist Development Council (TDC) makes recommendations to the county commission on how to spend the money. More...
No takers yet for Bridge Street pier eatery
BRADENTON BEACH – Less than two weeks from the deadline for prospective tenants to file bids to operate the Bridge Street Pier restaurant, the city has received none.
The former restaurant, Rotten Ralph’s, closed in May when tenant Dave Russell paid $15,000 to the city to settle back rent that the city said amounted to $266,000. More...
Anna Maria considers lower millage
ANNA MARIA – The bad news for homebuyers is the value of homes and property on the Island is going up, but that’s good news to the three Island cities as they figure their budgets.
The city of Anna Maria initially proposed raising its millage, the property tax rate, from 2.05 to 2.10, which they calculated would raise $1,319,155. But after getting new figures from the county assessor’s office showing an 8 percent rise in the value of taxable land in the city, they applied that value to the original 2.05 figure. They found that it would bring in $1,287,747, a difference of $31,408. More...
Food Bank donations to be matched up to $100,000
Grand Challenge organizers announced that Mosaic Company Foundation and Manatee Community Foundation are offering significant financial support to the community’s effort to raise food and money for the Food Bank of Manatee County.
The Mosaic Company Foundation will match community contributions to the Food Bank of Manatee, dollar for dollar and dollar per pound, of donated food up to $100,000 throughout September. More...
Committee considers permit parking
HOLMES BEACH – With only three members present, the Island congestion committee discussed a variety of topics last week, but made no decisions.
Chair Dick Motzer said he researched permit parking and suggested that it could be imposed from the 300 block of Gulf Drive east, with non-permit parking allowed in the 100 and 200 blocks, possibly on one side of the street.
“If they did permit parking, they’d have to map out where permit parking is allowed and not allowed,” Police Chief Bill Tokajer said. “Each residence would be allowed a certain number of permits.” More...
Students tour edible gardens
ANNA MARIA – Natural landscape expert Mike Miller took nine students from Taiwan on a tour of the edible gardens along Pine Avenue where he showed exotic vegetables being grown, some of them better known to the students than the residents of Anna Maria.
It was a hot day as Miller explained how they rebuilt Pine Avenue, purchasing contiguous plots of land to keep the same theme. More...
West coast snook season reopening
Beginning Sept. 1, snook season will reopen on Florida’s west coast for the first time since a closure following the 2010 cold snap that decimated the species in many areas of the state. In general, snook fared better on the east coast due to their proximity to deep water, while they were devastated in areas like the Everglades backcountry. It appears that west coast populations have experienced a spotty recovery and to get an idea of how they have fared, I spoke to some of the area’s snook experts.
Captain Rick Grassett would just as soon see the season remain closed even though he believes that snook are in relatively good shape in our area. Grassett rarely kills snook. His conversations with anglers in the Tampa Bay region and the Charlotte Harbor area indicate that they think the season should remain closed. More...
North Point Harbour revisited
It’s no secret that Anna Maria real estate has taken a sharp turn north during the last year. In view of that, I decided to take a look at some of the communities on the island that I profiled early on in the life of this column. The very first community profile I wrote was in December 2000, so what better place to start.
Everyone knows Key Royale is a separate island on the other side of the humpback bridge in Holmes Beach, but not everyone knows that within Key Royale is a separate community known as North Point Harbour. At the north end of Key Royale is a small enclave of a little over 40 homes on either Key Royale Drive or North Point Drive, which makes up this homeowner’s association, including membership to the North Point Harbour Club with both a heated pool and tennis courts. In addition, the Key Royale Club, a private golf club with an executive course is on Key Royale Drive right before North Point Harbour starts. More...
Rent for land or sea at Island Scooter Rentals
Anna Maria Island is the definitive representation of Florida island life, and the definite way to experience island life is from the seat of a scooter or a bike or in the Gulf waters. The place to make this experience happen is Island Scooter Rentals in Anna Maria city that has everything you need to make your definitive island life come to life.
Victoria Sweeney knows something of island life. She originally came to Florida from Chicago via Key West for a five day dive vacation and never returned. More...
Health and wealthInvestment Corner
My father and mother are 89 and 84, respectively. Dad’s never spent a night in the hospital in his life, even though he was wounded a couple times in a minor way during World War II. He was born at home, and his tonsils were removed on the kitchen table sometime during the Great Depression. Mom had heart surgery, certainly extending her life. Despite the other aches, pains, and inconveniences of getting older, they are a great illustration of the relationship of health and wealth.
On an individual basis there are exceptions, but across the population we are tending to live longer due to advances in healthcare, more knowledge about diet and staying physically fit. While it is a great goal to live a long, happy and healthy life, there is a stress created by living longer. The stress is on your retirement income plan. More...
Ecotourism publicity backfiring
Besides sleuthing on the beaches for nesting and hatching turtles, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers have solved a local mystery by doing an Internet investigation.
Director Suzi Fox has been noticing a new disregard for sea turtles and the laws protecting them, epitomized by especially bad incidents last month when two hatching nests were turned into party venues and a mother turtle was petted and flash photographed while nesting. More...
Agnelli Pools & Spa Giants Super Bowl champions
As the National Football League begins its much anticipated regular season next week, the Anna Maria Island Community Center just concluded its Adult Co-ed Flag Football League. The Sun sports game of the week was the AMICC Super Bowl between the Agnelli Pools & Spa Giants and the Waterfront restaurant Raiders.
Agnelli Pools & Spa Giants quarterback Ryan Moss led his team to his second consecutive Super Bowl win in 2013. After winning the winter Super Bowl, where he threw for eight touchdowns in a commanding victory, he picked right up where he left off. More...
Off to be a guest chef in CaliforniaFeasting on Fitness
It's hard to contain my excitement as the unofficial beginning of the Florida racing season is upon us, at least in our area. On Labor Day, the 20th annual Kanes Classic 5K running race will happen in GT Bray Park in Bradenton. It is the annual fundraiser for the Manatee High School cross-country team.
Some of my running friends actually tried to do a race this past weekend in Punta Gorda, but for the first time ever for many of us, a race was canceled due to frequent lightning and a flooded course. The Canes Classic has always happened at least in the last 20 years. And it's a great community event to not only put participate in because the trail for the run is a soft surface versus street running, but because it is a great community event where so many kids from the high school show up and see seniors like me trying to keep up. More...